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Estonia: Classy and Atmospheric

06 May 2009 at 17:08 CEST

There have been some changes made to the stage presentation from the Estonian national selection. At the beginning of the song, lead singer Sandra Nurmsalu is the only person visible on stage with her violin. The other musicians are hidden, as the expanding ring which is normally well above the stage is lowered, thus temporarily obscuring the view of the rest of the performers.


There is a very atmospheric ambience to the performance. The set is very dark, and the LED screens resemble a night sky and star constellation. During the first chorus the ring is raised, allowing viewers to see the rest of the performers. There are two backing vocalists, and three violinists accompanying Sandra. The expanding ring maneouvres around for the whole three minutes and is very effective. Smoke rises from the stage during the last bridge and a wind machine is also used.

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The Estonian delegation arrived in Moscow only yesterday, so their schedule has been tight prior to the first rehearsal. They stated that their first impressions were very good with regards to the arena, they were impressed with the lighting and generally extremely satisfied with the rehearsal.

Lead singer Sandra said when asked about the meaning of the song Rändajad  "The song is about travellers, about all people, we all travel and walk on the road travelled by ourselves. We can travel whichever path we choose."

Sandra said her musical influences are Tonis Magi, a very famous Estonian artist for many decades and she also likes the music of Lucie Silvas, Metallica and Bjork.

Urban Symphony's stage dresses are designed by Estonia's most honoured and well know designer. When asked about if Estonians could do anything crazy on stage, such as the Ukrainian performers before them on stage this afternoon, Head of Delegation Heidy Purga said "Sure, don't you remember our performers Kreisiraadio last year!!!?"

The Estonian group for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest - Urban Symphony - kicked off two years ago, when singer Sandra Nurmsalu took part in Estonian Television’s most popular young soloist competition Kaks Takti Ette, which included a bands round. That was what sparked the idea to combine modern electronic music with acoustic instruments to find new and sometimes surprising resonance and colour. Urban Symphony comprises singer and violinist Sandra Nurmsalu, cellists Johanna Mängel and Mari Möldre and viola player Mann Helstein, all of whom have been deeply involved in music since childhood. For performing the Eurovision song, Marilin Kongo and Mirjam Mesak joined the group to sing back vocals.

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